Tobold's Blog
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
Holy priests nerfed in patch 3.0.8

You probably already knew this, but I decided to make an extra post about the subject: In patch 3.0.8 Circle of Healing acquires a 6-second cooldown, which nerfs that spell "to the ground", turning it from a staple healing spell in raids to something barely useful. Druids suffer the same fate to their Wild Growth. There are several aspects to that, all negative:

Raid healing overall will go down. Bosses which damage the whole raid will become a lot harder. A typical healing analysis of my guild's Naxxramas raids showed between a quarter and a third of all healing from holy priests and druids coming from Circle of Healing or Wild Growth. That will be reduced dramatically, and there is no replacement. Priests don't even *have* any other raid healing ability, their other multi-target heals are group only. So overall raids will become harder, because there is less healing.

The holy spec for priests loses much of its reason for being. Up to now you had the choice between being discipline and single-target healer, or being holy and raid healer. Now by choosing holy over discipline you just nerf your overall healing, and only get the Spiritual Guardian panic button to show for it. I expect many holy priests to respec to discipline, as this is now definitely the better healing spec.

The patch is otherwise completely void of goodies for holy priests. Unless you count the ability to cast Levitate on other players, which is more of a gimmick. The handful of other priest changes are for shadow priests. The "best" feature for priests in patch 3.0.8 is being able to pull with Shadow Word Pain without getting killstealed, but that isn't even a change particularly done to help priests.

Before Wrath of the Lich King we had a healer shortage and a tank shortage. Blizzard addressed the tank shortage by adding the death knight tank. But there has been nothing done to address the healer shortage. Healing priests still suffer from the same problems they had in the Burning Crusade, being the worst build for soloing and PvP, and being reduced to eternally blamed healbot in group PvE. Where is the love, Blizzard? Why would you want to nerf a class you said yourself there aren't enough of? 10 druids can raid Naxxramas together, 10 priests wouldn't even get past the trash mobs. At least as far as you can measure it by healing meters, druids heal better than priests, with more overall healing done, more heals per second, and less overhealing. Plus druids can do great dps or be a great tank. Do you really want everyone to roll druid alts because those are just plain better in everything than a priest is?

At the very least the other healing spells for priests should be boosted. Spells like Prayer of Healing should be turned into a "smart" healing spell, working on X of the closest raid members, not just the priests party in the raid. Priests should also receive some other goodies making them more useful in solo PvE and PvP when in holy / discipline spec. So many other classes got boosted by so much in Wrath of the Lich King, why did priests got left behind?
I have a feeling the "now it isn't even useful" posts will go way down once people get use to it. As a Disc priest I have been a raid healer before, it sucks for me since all I have is renew and flash heal but it still works. As Holy you can do a CoH followed by a PoH (make sure you are in a group where this will do the most good, as Disc I try to get into the tanks group so he gets a portion, but being in a ranged dps group might be good too). Then you throw some renews and flashes around to those that still need it, if you used inner focus with either of the group heals there is a good chance surge of light procced as well, which is good for an extra flash. It will change your playstyle for sure, and your raid will have to realize they can't just power their way through encounters anymore (I read about one group that never avoided the flame walls in OS, just forcing the COH priest to heal through it). Once raids and preists adapt I don't see this as being such a big deal. It just forces holy into the same boat as disc, you have to monitor and use your cooldowns.
I used to be responsible for healing assignments back in 40-man Naxx and I've just done it again in 25-man Naxx.
It was interesting how much easier it was now. Not only because there are now fewer healers to manage, but everyone except paladins have smart heals available (wild growth, circle of healing, chain heal (for 2nd and 3rd target)). Most of the time I didn't have to do anything - paladins heal tank(s), rest heal the raid.

Since I play a paladin healer, I'll be careful with predicting the impact of this change. However, I think it's better to have a short cooldown and then adjust boss damage downwards if necessary, rather than the current spamming of smart heals. And I'm hoping dual-spec will solve the problem of healers having low dps for soloing.
- Don't forget Prayer of Mending, it's a strong Raid healing utility.
- CoH made raid healing trivial, no chances for shamans and paladins to compete, even 10-Man encounters were impossible without instant aoe heals
- 6s CD means 1 coh instead of 4, it's far from making it useless
- blizz can build encounters without huge aoe dmg and buffing shamans and paladins to compete with coh-spamming priests
I think it's a good nerf, making the Game better for all players

At least as far as you can measure it by healing meters

Thing is, you can't. Healing meters are essentially worthless.
A bit of Deja Vu here. When Burning Crusade came out, we were told there was no need for Priests anymore. The Nerf and Buff seesaw continues.
In the meantime, Druids win out yet again.

"So many other classes got boosted by so much in Wrath of the Lich King, why did priests got left behind?" I advise any Priest to look behind them, they just might see a Warlock.
You were the last person I expected a "OMFG my class is destroyed, durids are OP, fuk Blizz" post. A GOOD priest (as opposed to a 1-button masher) will always be needed in raids. Some hints:
* Improved Divine Spirit
* PoM
* Greater heal on main tank (Serendipity or Rapture): all druids will love you for saving them the very mana-inefficient Regrowth-spam.

@Gwaendar: "DPS meters are essentially worthless" by ImBaDPSLoCK below the tank.
Having only a level 77 holy priest CoH was always more of a "oh shit" button. It was only of use for me in situations where I had to spam it 2-3 times. Now with the CD I guess I wont use it anymore at all.
Healing meters are essentially worthless.

Which points towards one of the fundamental problems of the healing system: For a heal it is extremely important in what fraction of a second it lands, for a damage spell that isn't important at all, at least not once the tank has solid aggro.

You were the last person I expected a "OMFG my class is destroyed, durids are OP, fuk Blizz" post.

Why wouldn't I be entitled to a good old-fashioned rant post? If you declare a "thou shalt not rant" policy for all blogs, the blogosphere would be decimated.
You might think that there's little reason to roll anything other than a druid, since druids can be either ranged DPS, melee DPS, tank, or healer. But almost every other class has superior crowd control.
Superior crowd control? Awesome. You refer to the crowd control abilities that get used all the time in Wrath I assume. Oh wait...
I haven't shackled anyone since Moroes. And for soloing roots are a lot more useful than shackles.
I dont see how any of this matters until they fix the incredible lag issues that have during peak playing time. (rivendare server)

Healing has become two parts:

1) choose the best healing spells that apply to your situation

2) hope the server gets your request before the tank dies.

last night during Heroic run i found i had to stack healing dots even if not needed in case of another lag spike.

(apologies if this sends the post in a different direction. just had to vent a bit)
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One thing is for sure, as far as raids are concerned. The current synergy between healers will change. I often feel that my paladin is overgeared for the ammount of healing I am 'allowed' to dish out in respect to the current encounters & they synergy among my guild's healers. Dunno, maybe our shammies, priests and druids are so good we are not needed :p (ok I am exagerating a bit). I find 10-mans and 5-mans much less boring as they require more effort from a paladin. Maybe (or at least I hope) things will get more interesting now.

And indeed, healing meters are not very informative these days. When and for how long are not depicted and require further analysis which I doubt most people got the time/willingness to carry out.

P.S. Do not post replies/opinions while coding software, you will end up copy/pasting the coding instead... :p. Apologies for that deleted post.
I think it was pretty clear that CoH was a little OP. As a Resto Shaman, by the time my Chain Heal went off everyone was healed already. I'm not sure that a 6 second CD is the way to nerf it though. A spell with a 6 second cooldown is hard to incorporate into a regular healing rotation. A lot of times, you'll just forget to use it. It took me a while to work Riptide (6 sec CD) into my healing. I've now got a sort of internal timer in my head for when it might be available.

CoH is still a very powerful spell. The choice between Discipline and Holy would probably depend on whether your raid needed a tank healer or raid healer. A Holy Priest can't fully fill the role of a raid healer but they can heal the tank and the raid, helping both sides of the healing equation.
I play as a resto druid and I thought the idea was healers work together in raids. Priests and paladins have better single target heals than I do, so that's what they do. I spam HoT on the MT to prevent damage. Wild Growth always has too short of a range for me, or at least with the people I play with.
I find this absolutely hilarious. It sounds like priests were good again for about 6 weeks. Now that you have had your fun in the expansion, it's time for you to assume your normally programed role of worst.... class... ever....
I'm not sure if you've ever played a priest, but a CoH cool down (Read: Nerf) does not break the priest class. Priests are still the most versatile, flexible, and capable Single-Target AND AE healer in WoW.

Also, a good priest will know when/how to use a spell to make it strong and useful; nerfing it may hinder a little, but definitely does not disable the player.
Yes, holy priests were terribly nerfed in WotLK. I used to be holy in TBC and loved it, loved spamming CoH in raids and seeing my healing numbers go through the roof... :)
However while it is true holy priests were nerfed in WotLK, Discipline priests (to give them their full proper name) were seriously buffed. A full disc priest with proper gear (lots of int and crit, a lot less spi) has fantastic healing output, great raid buffs and while being an awesome single-target healer can still do pretty good party-healing.

Yes, I was sad when I first hit 80, ran a few heroics and realized how much I sucked as a holy priest. Then I respecced to disc and my eyes were opened. Respec to disc, you won't regret it :)
Based on this post I swear I'm reading the official wow forums. It isn't hard to understand though, because no one likes their class nerfed. In my opinion the cd to coh is a nerf, but it is small peanuts compared to how much nerfing paladins got right after patch 3.0. A 6 second cooldown on an instant party heal seams about right to me....perhaps blizzard should have increased it's healing slightly to make up for this?

I just hit 80 on my DK this weekend and started gearing for unholy tanking....only to have my bone shield loose 50% of it's effectiveness I'm probably going to respec frost tonight. My advise is to go respec if you think a cooldown on one skill will make or break you as a healer. Play a Disc priest for a few weeks and you will probably respec Holy again. The grass is always greener.
I agree with Gevlon. The odd thing about this post isn't the fact that it's a rant (which everyone is entitled to). Instead, it's a rant that makes some very unsound arguments. For example, we all know that 10 Priests can't clear Naxx while 10 Druids can, but it isn't because of a Druid's healing ability like you suggest with the following sentence. Also, I disagree with your assessment that Holy Priests lose their reason for being. Unless the spec was designed to spam CoH (which it was not), then the spec is merely being brought to the intended power level: a versatile efficient healer that challenges the player to use the right spell for the right occasion. I think most people are not happy with the CD as the choice of nerfs to CoH, but it's hard to argue that the nerf itself isn't necessary.
I think your view of the "nerf" is very unsophisticated. Skilled healers in the game are very happy about this change, because it's good for the game, and it separates the men from the boys. Unskilled healers, like unskilled any class, can never understand that the game is about more than just their own personal class.

Btw, the tank shortage was not solved! A lot of DK tanks havent got a clue how to tank, and many of them have crawled back into ebon hold several weeks later, never to emerge again.

I have to say Tobold, you are NOT a very sophisticated or intelligent player of the game. So many of your comments (and I've been reader your blog for a long time) are just painfully subjective and ill informed. You sound like a very casual player, yet you write with this bizarrely authorititive tone. If often makes me laugh.
My thoughts in bullet form:

1) This is the first nerf in awhile to hit you directly, Tobold. You don't take other class nerfs lightly, so you're justified in bitching in this case.

2) Nerfing healing is bad business, especially raid healing. Everyone accepts that healing is the job fewest number of people find fun. This is a fact. If the spells were overpowered, the negative effect on other players is indirect and only reflected in PVE progression. This is not like nerfing Prayer of Mending when it had no cooldown, since that was way, way, way overpowered for PVP and pissed off many players directly.

3) Nerfs alone are bad. Blizzard used to try to sweeten up the poison a bit by including some kind of unrelated buff to a class on a big nerf. Even if the nerf is justified, getting something else cool at the same time takes some of the sting away and also helps forum bitching wander away from the nerf. They didn't do that this time around, unless you count Levitate being castable on others...

...which is just going to wind up making a lot of dead priests who have to now get used to holding Alt while casting it.
CoH was too poweful. Our best healer has been a holy priest since beta. On 25 man encounters he is always top heals, except for Patchwerk, and he is always 20-30% ahead of the 2nd place healer on the meters. Around 80% of his heals are coming from CoH.

Now all healing priests won't be forced to go all the way up the holy tree and we will see disc and holy/disc hybrids back on the raiding scene.
Honestly I never saw this as a nerf. Priests were spamming this spell as an excuse to be lazy healers. I never used it personally and I always saw it as a crutch. If you top off and renew after pulls, and use the spell when you absolutely need to, then you should have no issues. I did from 70-74 in some tough instances where I was in way over my head and had no issues.

Thats all I have to say about that
It is a nerf. But it had to be, because of people who thought it would be fun to get a gear that ruled out going oom completely and then did nothing else than spamming one button, trying to get on top of a useless meter. This brought some e-peen-people to like healing, but pissed off many REAL healers, because they saw a single person take damage, prepared to heal it with a singletarget spell only to see 5 retards hammering it to death with completely inappropriate and extremely unefficient COH-spam.

That said, healmeters can actually be useful, if you are experienced enough to read them properly. The problem is just: The overwhelming majority of people are not. Reading it properly involves considering the nature of the recorded fight(s), the mixture of used spells by everyone, the overhealing numbers and several other things. If you didn't nod now and can think up several other things than have to be thought of in an heartbeat, please don't try to judge anyone based on a healingmeter, you're not qualified.

In the past I also thought that priest healing was about diversity. We were not best in any field, but whatever you needed to be done, a priest was always kind of the right choice. However I'm not sure this is still true in WotLK. Every other healer out there got something new where they were really lacking. Shamans got a HoT, Paladins a AOE-Heal, Druids a Flash and the possibility to cast direct heals in treeform. Being a Jack-of-all-Trades is no longer enough, because every healer is that now, on top of being really good at something specific. For example druids may be the masters of HoTs, topping everything off and smoothing out spikes, but nowadays our druid also has no issues solo-healing the tank at patchwork(10).

I actually specced Disc some weeks ago because the spec seems better defined to me. The only spell I'm missing now has a CD but for that I get infinite mana, pennance (which kicks ass!), really strong and cheap shields, a possibility to shorten the casttime of prayer of healing, spiritbuff..

I agree with Blizzard that they had to nerf CoH, but I think they have to rework holy now, its too weak in its current state. I expect them to do that when they rework healing as a whole as they said. A process I am already dreading because of the uncreative way they 'fixed' tanking. Simply implement a new class that can potentially tank but doesn't want to and make tanking easier so some ditched DDs may consider to switch to be popular again doesn't exactly sound like the strike of a genius.
Hello Tobold and friends -

Yet another post from a former Burning Crusade Holy Priest turned Discipline Priest for WOTLK here. I've never used COH once in all the 2+ years of my playing a Priest, throughout Burning Crusade I was my guild's designated Imp Divine Spirit buffer (though still majority Holy spec) and as a result was never able to talent into COH. Then as soon as I saw Penance I said "here it is, a reason to go deep disc for good" and have never looked back. So if I've been able to have a successful Priest career (see my Armory link below) without once casting COH, you can too.

For those of you looking to make the switch, I suggest doing a little theorycraft reading on and/or (my favorite WOW blog after Tobold's) because it will take some time to get used to the mechanics. The rotation is completely different. My default is something like PW:S -> POM -> Penance -> Flash -> Flash -> Flash -> Penance -> POM -> (repeat) with two of the three Flashes replaced with a single POH if others in the party are taking damage.

Some time spent running heroics to re-gear will be well worth it to get your int and crit up. Check your reps and get exalted with Wyrmrest Accord and Kirin Tor if you aren't already for excellent cloth wrists, boots, and robes. And don't forget to re-enchant, re-gem and re-glyph! Replace that MP5 chest enchant with the +250 mana one. Replace the spellpower+MP5 head enchant with the spellpower+crit one. My major glyphs are the ones for PW:S, Flash, and POH.

Unlike the vast majority of healing priests I have actually been looking forward to 3.0.8 for some time because one of the top deep Disc talents, Rapture, gets a bugfix that further strengthens our already fantastic mana regen. The only nerf I have to complain about today is some Spellpower getting taken off my Titansteel Guardian. No big deal.
You sound like a very casual player, yet you write with this bizarrely authorititive tone. If often makes me laugh.

The joke is on you. Because I *am* a very casual player, I *do* have mediocre gaming skills at best. And everyone should know that. But for some reason, probably because I can write full sentences and master the arcane leet skillz of grammer and punctuation better than most posters on the official WoW forums, YOU imagine the "authorititive" (sic, this isn't a real word) tone. "Hey, the man writes well, he must be an expert."

I am a casual player in a casual guild. And CoH and Wild Growth allowed that casual guild to clear Naxxramas. As I said, reading the healing meter after a typical raid, up to one third of the total healing came from those two spells. Now they get nerfed by a factor of 4. Of course I'm upset, of course I rant! And I don't bloody care that somebody half my age with nano-second reaction times can still heal quite well with single-player spells. I can't. All I see is that my raid healing is severely nerfed, we are going to wipe more because of it, and everyone is going to blame the healer, as usual.
Welcome to the life of a Holy pally. Not having a raid heal is the reason why I stopped playing that spec. I always felt we we're gimped walking into a 5 man or even 10 man raids.

You'll need to deal with single target healing now and you'll see just how hard some of instances can be without it. 6 seconds is not the end of the world, at least you still have an AoE heal.

Sure pallys have the Holy Light Glyph that splashes to nearby targets, but it's nothing compared to CoH.

You my friend have absolutely no idea of the power of priests. The cooldown on CoH just requires a priest to utilize more of it's tools instead of spamming one button.

I am a druid healer and I hardly use WG tbh. Only time I ever "spam" it per se is after a vortex in maly I cast it about 3-4 times to get as many ppl as possible before hotting up the tank.

Priests by far are the best overall healers in game; over pallies, druids and shaman.
@Tobold: There is something about Disc-Priests that I don't like very much, but could be just right for you. They require less good reflexes. If someone gets damage and you didn't expect it as a holy priest you are like "shit, I should have started that GH like 1,5 seconds ago". As a disc you shield them and use penance. The effect is like you could give someone an instant GH every 6 seconds. Only that this instant-GH additionally buffs the target to take 3% less damage and buff your critchance. And even if 12k damage healed and another half of that prevented is not enough and you have to use GH your GH will be hasted by default and *really* hasted if you casted a shield before.

@everyone thinking about skilling disc:
While it is true that disc is strong, make sure you don't screw your raids setup. If you have a bunch of paladins and few raidhealers then disc is a very bad idea because the slot you would be best suited for is already filled and your raid will be missing raidhealers even more.
Just found your blog today, and it's great. I play a Disc/Holy (41/30) priest and while I enjoy it a lot, I'm finding myself thinking lately how much fun it would be to combine the two healing specs into one and add a new priest spec: the warrior monk, specializing in hand-to-hand combat. I think Priests are gimped ever so slightly by having two healing specs - you can be a good single target healer, or a good group healer - but never both. We're supposed to be the 'ultimate' healers, so this makes no sense. But...I still have fun, and spend most of my time playing solo despite being told over and over that it's too hard to level a priest.

Anyway, I don't use Circle of Healing so this nerf won't affect my healing style, but I'm sure everyone will find a way to keep going. Change is good, right?

ProM: Single Target Reactive Heal

Greater Heal on Tank: Aren't Paladins already covering those?

The problem with Holy Priests is perceptions of the class/spec. Most players have a (simplistic) vision of what each class/spec can do, either the "what?" (Holy Paladins: Single Target Healing/Resto Shamans: AoE Healing/Prot Paladin: AoE Tanking) or the "how?" (Resto Druids: HoTs/Warlocks: DoTs/Fire Mage: deep fat fry/Discipline Priest: Shields & Mitigation). CoH, due to it's position in the tree, and the lack of other "superstar" talent, came to represent the player's perception of the Priest's Holy Tree. Now Holy Priests are without either type of niche.

So now a Holy Priest is a jack of all trades, master of none healer. They can heal decently in different niches, but they can't distinguish themselves in something.

Overuse is a poor excuse. I mean, if overuse is a problem, why introduce Frostfire Bolt? Doesn't Fireball spamming on a Fire Immune boss count as a bad thing to do?

@Centuri: What kind of Holy/Disc hybrids? For PvE purposes, you either go deep Disc, or deep Holy. The old 23/38 spec isn't coming back, because Imp DS lost all it's utility.

Disc has a discrimination problem because it changed so much between BC and Wrath. Disc was the survival tree, up until 3.0. And there are still many people that don't understand Discipline's synergy.
Yes, your class has been nerfed. You have every right to rant. You're also dead right about it making raids harder for everyone.

That being said, I hope no one seriously faults Blizzard for trying to make it so that all classes perform best when their players are continually making fast, careful decisions instead of using one tactic exclusively.
Barely useful?!? I'm willing to bet you'll now use Circle of Healing every bloody time the cooldown is up. Rather than blindly spamming one spell, you'll hit this while looking at who's in greatest danger, and then hit them with heals while waiting for the cooldown. You'll be less of a healbot this way.

PS: In my guild, we blame the melee dps for putting themselves in unhealable circumstances.
I gotta say I think there's a lot of questionable arguments in the OP. I mean, there's no denying the changes under discussion are nerfs, but I don't think you can say yet what the effects will be on raid healing. Right now CoH and Wild Growth spam are dominating, because well, they're the path of least resistance. There are often multiple solutions to a problem though, and I don't see any inherent reason that you will suddenly become unable to meet raid healing challenges. You can take a different path and get the same result. And it's not like these spells are being taken out of the game, a holy priest still has an AoE "smart" heal.

I also really don't get the "10 druids can solo Naxx, and 10 priests can't" argument. That applies to most classes, what is that even supposed to mean? The average resto druid isn't going to turn a switch on and start tanking or DPSing any more than a holy priest is.

Just as another comment, I think someone said something about encounters being impossible without WG or CoH spam. All I have is my own limited anecdotal evidence, but this just seems incorrect to me. I've done all the 10 man content save 2 drake Sartharion without a single priest or druid healer (we have 1 shaman and 1 paladin).
As a druid, when I read the announcement about the WG nerf I found myself somewhat ambivilent to the change. Having been healing on a druid for four years, I really don't think I even use WG more than once every 6 seconds, if even that, in most circumstances. In the heavy AE damage fights (Sapph and Malygos, for example), I find people are just too spread out for WG to even do any good, and I use rejuv and lifebloom for raid healing as it's more effective.

I understand people's frustration in the change, especially when this could have been clearly anticipated and fixed in the beta (and I believe at one point the beta DID have a CD on at least CoH that didn't make it live). But all of that being said, I don't think it's going to be the end all, be all for priest/druid healing. I think, just like with any nerf, once people get over it they will find it really isn't so bad and will still perform at a level that is acceptable for success.
I know that this post is so far down that it won't get read, but... as another holy priest in a casual guild (we still wipe at Sapphiron), I tend to agree with Tobold. Speccing disc is not an option as I'm expected to be the "gap filler" that can get along with any other healer... I raid-heal if we get a paladin, I tank-heal if we get a shaman. The thing is, the power level of CoH post-nerf is probably fine for an instant spell, but we're missing a weaker spammable raid heal in our toolbox. (BTW paladins, I can feel your pain, but I'd prefer it if Blizzard fixed you instead of breaking us.) Eventually Prayer of Healing and Holy Nova will get changed to affect N targets in the raid instead of just the current group. This will be a bugfix more than a buff, but we'll be very very lucky if it's in for 3.1.
Wow, not the usual style of post that I'm used to from this blog. Bit more of a polemic. I like that, but don't really buy the argument. You don't really address the reason for the incoming cooldown (mindless CoH spam trivialising raid encounters), and I think you are deliberately underselling a priest's total utility for effect. Priests, especially holy priests, seem to be going though a bit of an identity crisis at the moment, not really feeling they are the *best* choice for any particular healing assignment. I agree this needs some intelligent thought from the class designers. But this doesn't alter the fact that priests remain the strongest five-man healing class, the most flexible in terms of healing spells and options, and the most adaptable to any situation.

Also, what's with the druid thing? Druids are better healers cos they can tank too? Loving the strawman!
You cheapen your argument by throwing in references to what 10 druids can do.... so what?
With respect Tobold if your main measurement of worth is topping the healing meters you need to re-assess how you evaluate.

Priests have been topping meters effortlessly with COH spam. It doesn't require any thought or decisions, just wait for the raid damage to start then spam one melee dps - even if your target is full the spell will still do the thinking for you.

As a Pally I raid heal by choosing someone who needs a heal and healing them. Like Priests used to do back in the days before COH allowed them to retire their brains. Try it sometime
Wow Tobold, this is the most emotionally-charged post (regarding WoW anyway) I've ever read on your blog. Good stuff. The point's been made by now I'm sure, but I'll say it anyway. This is a nerf because it was making healing too easy, and adding a cooldown doesn't make this spell useless. Every six seconds, you will still have a really good spell. Two or three of Holy Priests / Resto Druids can all use the spell at the same time when there is splash raid damage, and it should still be effective. You'll adapt just fine. And for healing throughput, between Disc and Holy, Holy is still the way to go. Disc isn't about brute force healing, it's about mitigating damage first AND THEN healing what those shields/buffs can't handle. I really think you should try Disc (if you haven't already), I think you'll find it refreshing and cool.
For the first time I have to comment that I entireyl disagree with your Post, Tobold. It sounds as if you have not much insight about the priest's class or have just gotten too used to the ez mode healing since WoW 3.0. CoH was never meant to be the Holy Priest's I-Win button it was in the pre 3.0.8 era.

Gothica says it all: "[...]Like Priests used to do back in the days before COH allowed them to retire their brains.[...]"
Healers shouldn't compete to top healing meters. It's stupid, because it doesn't contributes to the raid(fixed amount of healing needed).
With WotLK endless mana in raids coh became overpowered. My coh heals from 16K+ on average. That is huge amount of healing for an instant cast. That and an almost certain surge of light proc after it made it godless.
6 sec cd will just make haste gear even more desirable. CoH, free FH, PoM, Renew, FH, FH and CoH again. Hm, i'm sure this would work :).
You don't bring people to raid because of their class, but because of their skill(you only need buffs covered).
Besides defending my right to be pissed off when I get nerfed, I can only say that nobody here answered my main point: Healers are already in short supply, so why nerf them and make them less popular.

On the druid thing, the fact that they can tank *is* relevant. My guild isn't going anywhere without a druid as main tank, warriors are relegated to off-tank role now. And while it is arguable whether druids are slightly better or slightly worse than priests in healing, the fact is that they are definitely not significantly worse. And druids also deal significantly more damage than tank warriors or holy priests. Hybrid classes shouldn't be as good or better in three fields than other classes are in just one of them. I need to level 3 characters to 80 to get to the same point where a druid can get by a respec and changing gear.
"Healers are already in short supply, so why nerf them and make them less popular."
They buffed tanks to be more popular, but I don't think its a good idea. The question is: Do you want your class fun or overpowered? Massively buffing a class/spec isn't going to make it any more fun or all those fury-warriors would be def by now. You might argue that holy deserves a slight buff, but that won't bring any new healers in. To achieve that you would have to buff the class massively until all forums are full of whinetreads about those imba holypriests. That would cause a bunch of people to heal, but they would jump off the train again as soon as you balance it again.
Nerfing an already unpopular class doesn't seem like a very wise choice, but buffing it just because it is unpopular (note: not underpowered!) isn't any better.
One of the main reasons my wife and I quit WoW was the continued hostility towards pure tanks and healers. I think WoW realized early on that the easiest way to control or slow down raid progression was nerf tanks and healers. You do that, everything else follows.

I'm not surprised to see that trend continuing.

Muckbeast - Game Design and Online Worlds
"Besides defending my right to be pissed off when I get nerfed, I can only say that nobody here answered my main point: Healers are already in short supply, so why nerf them and make them less popular."

Because it was a broken mechanic.

Healing meters do matter. They have a big effect on how much we enjoy ourselves playing and on how good a player we appear to be to others. The more casual the guild the more notice is taken of raw Healing Done stats so COH being too strong was actually hurting casual healers more than hardcore healers. If you come bottom all the time and people avoid taking you to raids and heroics you're going to stop playing that character or respec dps. The COH imbalance had the potential to reduce healer numbers much more than the 3.08 nerf.

The only alternative to nerfing COH would be giving it to all the other healers too. At that point everyone is whacking the same mole, no one wants to be assigned to the tank and all sorts of problems arise.

We cleared 3 wings of Naxx tonight with 5 healers (pally, shammy, disc priest, druid, holy priest) and the healing was absolutely fine. I didn't check the meter after the run but the holy priest seemed perfectly happy (and he's generally been top).

It is not putting priests below the other healers, it's putting you guys back down to our level.

I do accept your right to be pissed off but it's in the same boat as when mages complained about not being able to double trinket pom pyro one shot people any more or when 3.0 ret pallies got brought down to earth. You have healing at a significant advantage over other healing classes for the last 3 months, either you had to be brought down or we had to be dragged up to your level.
The more casual the guild the more notice is taken of raw Healing Done stats so COH being too strong was actually hurting casual healers more than hardcore healers. If you come bottom all the time and people avoid taking you to raids and heroics you're going to stop playing that character or respec dps.

I fully agree with that. But in our first 25-man post-patch raid, all the druid healers came out on top of the healing meters, and all of the priests came out on bottom. This is due to the nature of druid healing spells, which being instant and over time just score better on a healing meter, even if you'd prefer a paladin or priest as single-target healer.
This is due to the nature of druid healing spells, which being instant and over time just score better on a healing meter, even if you'd prefer a paladin or priest as single-target healer.

And this is exactly why healing meters are essentially worthless (discounting, for the sake of simplicity, the fact that there is STILL no accurate healing meter NOR parsing tool available). Healing meters only show who tossed how many HPs at people, just as damage meters show who tossed how much hurt on a boss. The big difference though is that for the DPS, the quality of your work is represented by the amount of hurt you toss out, and thus damage meters are relatively decent tools to measure performance.

For healers, the amount of healing done doesn't indicate performance. A good healer isn't defined by how much healing he provides but by when he heals whom by what amount and by what spell. The timeline is absolutely essential in measuring performance, no matter what healing role you are actually performing.

With your obsession about who places where on healing meters, you're doing yourself a massive disservice. The best thing you could do at this stage is to uninstall any meters you have, record combat logs, parse them through WWS and analyze your healing based on the timeline of events. And the person coordinating healing in your raids should definitely do the same.
With your obsession about who places where on healing meters, you're doing yourself a massive disservice. The best thing you could do at this stage is to uninstall any meters you have

Now pray tell me how to uninstall all the healing meters THE OTHER PLAYERS have. As some other commenter pointed out, the question is one of perception as much as it is one of performance. People are starting to consider priests to be secondary healers.
I fully agree with that. But in our first 25-man post-patch raid, all the druid healers came out on top of the healing meters, and all of the priests came out on bottom. This is due to the nature of druid healing spells, which being instant and over time just score better on a healing meter, even if you'd prefer a paladin or priest as single-target healer.

Your first raid post patch? Perhaps because druids won't have changed their strategies much but priests have to adjust to entirely new rotations?

Whenever I am learning a rotation for a fight I am usually lower on the meters than I "should" be. Once I get a hang of the damage and which heals to use at certain times, I'm back up a little more.

One raid is not a big enough sample to decide that priests are going to live at the bottom of the meters and druids on top. Judging things by the first time you raid, while the priests are still getting the hang of having to do things differently, is not really a great indication of how things really are.
As some other commenter pointed out, the question is one of perception as much as it is one of performance. People are starting to consider priests to be secondary healers.

As your other thread seems to hint at, the problem might be with your guild leadership rather than the larger wow community. I'd take a priest over a holy paladin any day in a heroic, for instance, if all other things are equal.
I'm a disc man myself, when i went into my first naxx25 with my new disc spec and 1800 SP, i was worried that i would fall in a hole at the first sight of major damage. Needless to say i didn't, not even close in fact. Before the patch i found CoH was somewhat boring, if you didnt spam it you weren't doing you job right. Ergo, no CoH, No raid.

On a slightly more humorous note:
Kobold you picky shit, dont pick on peoples SPELLING (not grammar) over the net, thats for scrubs with no valid argument, and secondly you big old troll, dont whinge about being low on the damage meters and then condemn them as erroneous and deceptive. If you whined like this in any channel in any realm on wow they'd tell you to L2heal or GTFO

(and yes, i said kobold and i imagine him so)
I play as a priest, this "nerf" was more of a balancing. Yes, I was upset when they put the cooldown on it, but I still love the spell. I usually get one critical off of casting this bad boy, which half the time gives me a free, instant flash heal.
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